Samara O'Shea

Archive for December, 2008

About My Last Blog . . .

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

The day after I posted the post about TJ (below), my friend Matt wrote me and told me the quote was great, but Mr. Jefferson never said it. He sent me this link to prove it. says the quote was fabricated to give historic credence to our current economic crisis—a We should have known! type thing. If it was made up—and it may very well have been—I don’t think it was recently. I remember coming across this quote in college. It was attributed to Jefferson then, too. Perhaps it was created for the benefit of an earlier economic downturn. In any case, this great gadget we call the Internet can be a big bad game of whisper down the lane. How can we know what is and isn’t true? Can I believe Snopes any more than the Web sites that verified the quote for me in the first place? Admittedly, I’m as guilty as the next guy. My New Year’s resolution is not to post any more quotes unless they come from a book. That doesn’t mean the words can’t be false, but it does mean there is officially someone to blame.

The Prophecy of Thomas Jefferson . . .

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

I’ve been meaning to post this quote for a while and just thought of it now. I am continually fascinated by the fact that things don’t change that much. It’s true TJ never had to choose between an Apple and a PC or pick his favorite portrait to post on Facebook, but the fact that this quote is relevant 200 plus years later is remarkable. The things around us change, but we don’t. Our messy set of human emotions—love, lust, greed, jealousy, compassion, and fear—has always been and always will be.

This Story is Made Possible By (Surprise!) A Box of Letters Someone Saw Fit to Save

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

A heartbreaking yet hopeful story on the op/ed page of the New York Times today. It’s the story of a depression-era act of kindness meant to inspire us through the difficult days of now.

A Christmas Love Letter

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Merry Christmas week everyone! I hope you’re as excited as I am. I’m feeling a fondness for Christmas that I haven’t felt in years. I think it’s due, believe it or not, to the economic downturn. It has me feeling so grateful for the life I live and the people I love. I’m experiencing the holiday minus the commercialism and excess, which is how it’s meant to be.

And now, I give you a love letter to help savor the season. It’s one of my favorites. This is a platonic love letter from a daughter to her mother. The daughter is Louisa May Alcott—author of Little Women and Little Men amongst many other books. In the winter of 1854 she had her first book entitled Flower Fables published. Below you’ll find the letter she writes to her mother on Christmas day as she prepares to send a copy of her “first born.”

25 December 1854

Dear Mother,

Into your Christmas stocking I have put my “first born”, knowing that you will accept it with all its faults (for grandmothers are always kind), and look upon it merely as an earnest of what I may yet do; for, with so much to cheer me on, I hope to pass in time from fairies and fables to men and realities.

Whatever beauty or poetry is to be found in my little book is owning to your interest in and encouragement of all my efforts from the first to the last; and if ever I do anything to be proud of, my greatest happiness will be that I can thank you for that, as I may do it for all the good there is in me; and I shall be content to write if it gives you pleasure. . .

I am ever your loving daughter,

A “Thank You” a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I came across this article yesterday. It features ten practices that science (as opposed to philosophy) says will improve your well being. I can attest to all of them! I haven’t mastered each of them yet, but I recognize that not worrying about money and not comparing myself to other people will improve my mind matters greatly. I am pleased to say that I’ve got a few of them down already—notably number 8. This little rule suggests journal writing AND letter writing in one. Can I say I told ya so =)

8. Say Thank You Like You Mean It

People who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis are healthier, more optimistic, and more likely to make progress toward achieving personal goals, according to author Robert Emmons. Research by Martin Seligman, founder of positive psychology, revealed that people who write “gratitude letters” to someone who made a difference in their lives score higher on happiness, and lower on depression — and the effect lasts for weeks.

Make New Friends . . .

Monday, December 15th, 2008

I’d like to dedicate this blog to my friend Joselle who is always looking out for me. First*, she put me in touch with the amazing hip tranquil chick—Kimberly Wilson. Kimberly and I had a lovely discussion about journaling last week and you can listen to it at her rockin podcast. And just today Joselle sent me the link to a great diary story featured on Thanks girlfriend!

*This was actually the second thing she did. Her first righteous act of kindness was coming to my journal-writing workshop over the summer—and bringing her man!

My First (Failed) Vlog

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

So I tried vlogging (that’s video blogging). I’m so behind the times—I know. People have been vlogging for years. Anyway, I thought I’d give it a go, and it didn’t really work out. The picture is fuzzy. The sound and the picture don’t match up the whole time. There are no fancy graphics. The one thing I do like, however, is the message. It’s a simple yet important holiday message, and that’s why I’m daring to post this. I hope you enjoy. Here’s to better vlogging in 2009!

P.S. Audry Hepburn is in this video for no other reason than I love her dearly.